Tableau Expands Platform with New ‘Tableau Prep’ Product

Tableau Software has released Tableau Prep, a brand new product designed to help users prepare their data so they can use it for analysis more quickly.

The application features a direct and visual experience for data preparation that gives customers a deeper understanding of their data, smart features to automate complex tasks, and integration with the Tableau analytical workflow for faster speed to insight. Tableau Prep is included with the new Creator offering, part of Tableau's new tailored subscription offerings. Existing customers of Tableau Desktop are also able to use Tableau Prep is available at no charge for the next two years.

Data preparation is one of the biggest challenges facing customers today, according to Tableau, which cites an often-quoted statistic that analysts spend 80% of their time cleaning and shaping data, and only 20% actually analyzing it.

Customers cannot readily analyze much of their data because it is in the wrong shape or residing in disparate sources, and getting it in a useful form can be a complicated and time-consuming process, often requiring specialized skills. Tableau says its data prep product has customized visual experiences to make common yet complex tasks—such as joins, unions, pivots and aggregations—simple with a drag and drop experience that requires no scripting.

Tableau Prep also features smart algorithms to help automate common data prep challenges. As an example, the company says, Tableau Prep employs fuzzy clustering to turn repetitive tasks, like grouping by pronunciation or cleaning based on punctuation, into one-click operations.

Tableau Prep integrates directly into the Tableau analytical workflow and customers can open their flow in Tableau Desktop at any time, or easily share it with Tableau Server or Tableau Online. Tableau Prep also leverages Tableau Desktop data connectors, calculation language, as well as permissions and certifications, so customers can get up to speed quickly and collaborate at any point in the analytical process.

In addition to Tableau Prep, today Tableau also introduced new subscription offerings that combine existing and new Tableau capabilities into packages appropriate for all people across an organization. Tableau Creator, Explorer, and Viewer subscriptions provide tailored combinations of sophisticated analytics and drop-dead simplicity, allowing every customer to strike the appropriate balance and meet the unique needs of their own organization. Tableau Prep is included along with Tableau Desktop at no extra charge in the new Creator offering. Current Tableau Desktop customers are also able to use Tableau Prep at no charge until 2020.

Within Tableau 2018.1, updates to Tableau Server and Tableau Online are also available, including a new authoring experience all in the browser—from data to dashboards with no desktop installations required. Customers with data in more than 20 data sources including Microsoft SQL Server, Amazon Redshift, and Snowflake or local data sources such as Excel, can now have a complete browser-based analytical experience for all their users. This new end-to-end web authoring flow, which is also included in the Creator subscription offering, enables organizations to scale Tableau deployments faster through a centralized and governed authoring experience. Additionally, customers can stay in their flow throughout the lifecycle of analytics, speeding the journey from data to insights, by always being in the browser.

Tableau Online customers can also take advantage of Dashboard Starters to get instant insight into their own data. Starters are pre-made dashboards optimized for common business applications like Salesforce, Marketo, Eloqua and ServiceNow. Moreover, customers can speed up their analysis, by editing or building on top of a Dashboard Starter.

For more information on Tableau Prep and Tableau 2018.1, visit

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